Music artist India Arie got the opportunity to clarify why she feels Joe Rogan is “consciously racist” and her decision to pull her music from Spotify in relation to his comments while appearing on The Daily Show.
The “I Am Not My Hair” singer appeared on the Comedy Central talk show hosted by Trevor Noah on Monday (February 14) to talk about her recent comments highlighting racist behavior by Rogan, which was the impetus to make a request of the streaming music service Spotify to take her music off of it at the beginning of February.
A video she made about the podcast host went viral as it contained a compilation of clips showing Rogan using the N-word along with a clip of him comparing a movie theater in a Black neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to The Planet of the Apes. She told Noah that Rogan’s language made her feel “disrespected” because it was deliberate. “I think he was saying it because it got a rise out of people,” Arie said during the interview. “That’s why he would say it. He knew that it was inappropriate. And I think the fact that he did it repeatedly and was conscious and knew, I think that is being racist.”
Rogan would issue an apology after the video went viral and caused many to complain and cancel their accounts with Spotify. “When I go deeper and ask myself what I really think from my commitment to truth that I’ve made this last year, what I really think is that he was being consciously racist and it makes me wonder what he talks like behind closed doors.”, Arie said when asked about that apology. She told Noah that she is still fighting with Universal Music Group to have her music pulled from Spotify’s servers and that since her video was posted she has been receiving messages from fans of Rogan and other bigoted individuals calling her the N-word among other slurs.
India Arie believes that Rogan’s power as a podcast host with millions of followers has compelled him to act in this way and as a result, influence his followers to do the same without any thought to the consequences. “I don’t think he fully understands what he did,” Arie concluded. “If you want to really lead your listeners down a new path, then lead them, to the point where they don’t feel that is the right language to come in my DMs and call me an ‘N-word’ in defense of him.”
Check out the entire interview with India Arie on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah below.